An Invitation to Collaborate on
A Video Poem
We planted the seed for Prophecy in conversations between Ricardo Levins Morales, Xioalu Wang, and Tahiel Jimenez.
We would like your help in growing the project and bringing to life!
It is based on a poem written by Ricardo.
Our intention is to transform it into a visual experimental narrative, also known as a video poem.
We hope to co-create this project with you! Our collaborators would include different organizations, organizers, and activists in our communities. Together with the film team (Xiaolu & Tahiel), we can have a conversation about how to collaborative represent the section of the poem you would represent.
We want this piece to be created solely by POC artists and POC-led organizations.
We hope the creation and viewing of this poem fuels us and vitalizes our spirits. We imagine Prophecy, with its poetic melding of compassion and sharp clarity, will be passed around through communities and social movements and be played at community events to warm and energize the heartbeats of our people.
This is an example that has a similar tone to what we hope to create with you:
Our idea is different because we will combine multiple voices and visuals from different communities.
In order to make this vision a reality, we would like to partner with different collaborators around the cities.
We are asking you as collaborators to bring together people in your community/organization to chant/read/perform your section of the poem. It could also be chanted by just one person or you if that is more appealing. We would like to have conversation about how you envision expressing your section of the poem. After that, we will film beautiful and impactful visuals of you or your organization. In the editing process, we will collage your voices and visuals with the voices of other collaborators into a impactful and visually poetic video poem.
We hope the process is as fulfilling for everyone involved as the final piece and that we can combine our skills and resources to create a symbolic and collectively powerful video poem.
So at what stage are we? Ricardo, Xiaolu, and Tahiel met multiple times to break down the poem and develop some initial concepts. We wrote down ideas for imagery for each section and would like to develop it further with our collaborators. We created a list of potential collaborators and we applied for a NALAC grant last year. We did not receive it. We plan to continue to apply for grants for this project including the Community Partnership Grant through MRAC.
At the moment, we do not have any funds but we have already filmed the teaser for the project with our own resources. We feel committed to bring Prophecy to life.
At this moment, we would like to find collaborators and organizations who feel excited by this project and would like to be a part of it.
After we have a collaborator interested in each section, we will continue the conversation with the interested groups and either apply for more funding or do a small online fundraising to cover the minimum costs.
We are also open to filming without funds but that would require your time and energy without compensation. We acknowledge this is not ideal.
As we make progress with filming, we will have a stronger application for grants with the already filmed clips.
We have abundance without the need for grants but we would like to pay to anyone who is involved in the making of this piece. If collaborators are open, we will develop the concept and film their parts without initial payment and hope to later compensate for each other’s time.
We are excited to create Prophecy and are open to starting the project without initial monetary funding. We can pool resources and energy together.
There is no constrains on timeline for this project but we would like to begin filming this as soon as possible and slowly bring the pieces together. It would be preferable if we could film the majority of the film this Summer.
I know which way to go because the heart beats out a rhythm
The heart beats out a rhythm and I know which way to go
It may be hard to show how it imposes its decisions
But I swear that I must listen like the grass must choose to grow
There are memories of power in the dreaming of the living
We dream the living memory of power in our hands
I don’t make a plan, I play the hand that I am given
And I’m given to believing in the rhythms of the land
When they burned us from our villages they left them charred and smoking
To the raging rivers and the screaming of the stars
And the children heard the wailing as the elders’ hearts were broken
And a token of resistance was encoded in our scars
Into endless exploitation we were driven in confusion
In resistance and collusion at a price we couldn’t know
Condemned to isolation in a nation of illusion
In a wasteland of pollution where the spirits will not go
After dying there is breathing, there is living after grieving
There is dreaming after crying, after silence there is voice
And there is no power greater than the laughter of the living
And the living live in laughter ‘cause we do not have a choice
The guardians of greed cannot conceal where they are leading
On an endless escalation of their Earth-destroying curse
But the ancestors demand that I declare without retreating
That the wound will not be healed until the crime has been reversed
You can listen in a seashell to the rhythms of the ocean
You can listen to the ocean beat its rhythms in a shell
It’s the never-ending chanting of an ancient world in motion
The relentless incantation of its life-creating spell
Like a seed that comes to life when it is given life to grow on
There’s a time-entrusted token we’re commanded to recall
That the continents, the oceans and the skies belong to no one
And what belongs to no one is the heritage of all
The world belongs to no one and by no one can be taken
It’s the wonder of creation that’s bestowed on us at birth
It’s a seed of transformation that is destined to awaken
In the thunder of a memory released upon the Earth
If you are interested in participating in the project, we can set up a time to meet with the film team and have a conversation about the concept for your part of the poem as well as potential shooting dates. If you have any suggestions or comments, we would love to hear those as well.
Please email Tahiel at: firstname.lastname@example.org